“Clark Parker クラーク·パーカー is a writer living in Tokyo. In his spare time he is a full-time salaryman. The Tokyo Files paints a portrait of Japan’s capital city through the lens of Clark’s obsessions, which include art & architecture, history & urban planning, and, most importantly, craft beer. Since moving to Japan in 2011 Clark has become increasingly convinced that Tokyo is the best city in the world, and is intent on proving it.” (adapted from a bio I wrote for another publication)
About the blog
The Tokyo Files 東京ファイル was created to share information about Tokyo’s museums, but has evolved into an examination of the changing urban fabric of Tokyo, with a focus on the impact of public transportation and danchi apartment complexes. The changing landscape of Tokyo is best appreciated by viewing classic Japanese cinema; for instance, Oshima’s Cruel Story of Youth (1960) provides stunning pictures of logs floating in Tokyo Bay, the current-day Odaiba:
Odaiba then and now:
Tokyo’s geography and Japan’s history are vastly interesting, and I hope to make this an entertaining and informative Tokyo history blog 東京の歴史ブログ. I like to consider myself a “biographer of cities”, with Tokyo as my beloved subject.
Points of interest mentioned in The Tokyo Files:
My other Japan blogs:
- the tokyo files: archives 東京ファイル: other observations about Tokyo
- the tokyo files: urban design: Tokyo’s urban design, and how it got that way
- the tokyo files: billboard architecture: Japanese kanban kenchiku 看板建築 architecture
- the tokyo files media: movie stills, architecture, and other photos
- the tokyo files maps マッピング東京: various maps of the Tokyo area
- the tokyo files: danchi 東京団地萌え: Japan’s post-war housing complexes
- the tokyo files: rivers 東京の川: exploring Tokyo’s rivers
- the tokyo files: answers: questions about Tokyo and Japan, answered!
- the tokyo files: photos: candid views of Tokyo life, often from Google Streetview
- Funny Japanese Street Signs: a collection of funny Japanese street signs.
More about The Tokyo Files:
I probably should have called this blog “Tokyo Wanderer” or “Tokyo Drifter”, since I enjoy nothing more then setting off into (or out of) the city with only a vague itinerary in mind. I don’t know what I’ll find, but it’s almost always good. The following photograph is an example: towards the end of a long walk, I stopped at one of Tokyo’s ubiquitous vending machines to buy a drink. My hands were cold / I’m clumsy, and a 10-yen coin fell from my fingers onto the ground. The copper coin rolled for a few feet, began to spiral, and came to rest along its edge, wedged delicately between two pieces of asphalt. With haste, and a touch of nervousness, I photographed the coin, capturing a moment that may never pass in front of my eyes again.
A coin on its side is not important, and perhaps little in my blog is important, but the beauty of living in a foreign country is that the mundane details of life become richer. Perhaps this fades with time (I’ll let you know), but until that happens, I plan on taking notes (and pictures) of whatever magical or mundane moments cross my path.
If you have any topic suggestions or general comments, I’d be happy to hear from you. Follow me on twitter @thetokyofiles or email me: thetokyofiles [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also find me on Quora from time to time.
News and events:
(II) Stanford University curriculum: The Road to Tokyo: my post about underground rivers was included as a reference material for a curriculum in development by Stanford University: The Road to Tokyo.
(III) “Bohemian ghosts around Ikebukuro”: my take on the artists’ colonies of ‘Ikebukuro Montparnasse’ and Mejiro Cultural Village, published in Metropolis Japan (January, 2018)
(IV) “THE “HIGH LINES” OF TOKYO”: A guide to the city’s hidden railway parks, published in Metropolis Japan (March, 2018)
(V) Tokyo Cheapo interview: the fun and helpful website, Tokyo Cheapo, interviewed me, which you can read here. Tokyo Cheapo also was kind enough to include me on a list of Tokyo’s Top Tweeters. I advise you to follow the others on the list. They are much better.
(VI) An interview with Katie Adler (“English with Katie”): The audio from the following video is an interview I gave on the show “English with Katie“. The photos are taken from my blog.
Sample of The Tokyo Files referenced on the internet & other sources:
- My post, Koban 交番: police boxes, was referenced as a resource in the book, Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture: From Crime Fighting Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters 日本の大衆文化に見る法と正義
- Uruguayan doctoral thesis, “Zipped: Arquitectura residencial japonesa contemporánea producida en fuertes marcos de restricción de proyecto derivados de condiciones geométricas y dimensionales” (Topic: contemporary Japanese residential architecture influences by geographic restrictions; Chapter 5 – Ciudad atomizada (atomized city) (PDF)
- My post, Bombing Nagasaki: the scrapbook, was a primary source for the 2018 Gizmodo article, Americans Played Football in the Nuked Remains of Nagasaki For the ‘Atom Bowl’ in 1946
- Listed as an 英語タウン誌・フリーペーパー (English town free paper) on the Japanese website 英語情報 Eigo Joho
- Egalitair Tokio (observations on gated communities in Tokyo); “Free State of Amsterdam: Weblog of Zef Hemel on urban planning”
- German Wikipedia entry on Entō Bunsui 円筒分水 (cylindrical water diversions)
- Book: La sessualità giapponese. Uno sguardo sociologico (Japanese sexuality. A sociological look), by Umberto Pagano and Giovanna Procopio
- Mentioned by Citydog.by (Minsk, Belarus) in their review of an urbanism exhibit: Cities on the edge of survival: Japanese urban projects 1960s Города на грани выживания: японские урбанистические проекты 1960 – х гг»
- My post, The underground rivers of Tokyo, was used as a resource by:
- The Hong Kong Files: like The Tokyo Files, but for Hong Kong. A younger blog.
- I See American People: My “American” blog, this is the start of my lifetime attempt to make sense of the United States and beyond.
- Some Prefer Nettles: The blog’s name is inspired by the English title of Tanizaki’s book of the same name and is a project with the motto: provoking the unruly mind. Less polished than my other blogs, this gives me permission to take more artistic chances.
- The Asia Files: notes from travels across Asia
- The Estonia Files: about Estonia
Unless otherwise noted, all photos and text in this blog are copyrighted by the author (or whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo is). Please contact me with any questions or comments.